One cargo, two owners

Prior to a cargo arriving the local agent received an enquiry from the shipper asking whether the original consignee on the bill of lading could be changed. The agent advised that as long as all the parties were in agreement, it could be done.

The cargo arrived and a notice of arrival was sent to the original consignee. Meanwhile the shipper requested that the cargo be placed on hold in the terminal. This was arranged.

Eventually the cargo was customs cleared by the original consignee and they requested that the cargo be released to them. However, the agent advised that the shipper had placed a hold on the cargo and they were unable to recover it. Eventually, the shipper advised that the hold could be released. As a result the container was sent by rail to the original consignee.

During the rail transit, the shipper requested that the consignee and notify party both be changed. Again, a hold was placed on the container when it arrived at the rail depot. The agent was then advised that the original bill of lading had been surrendered at the load port.

The new consignee was given an arrival notice for the cargo, but the original consignee had already collected the container. The agent advised that the confusion occurred due to receiving conflicting e-mails from different parties.

The agent contacted the original consignee and the original notify party to request the return of the cargo so it could be delivered to the new consignee as per the shipper’s request. However, the original consignee claimed that they had already paid for the goods and refused to return the container.

The shipper made a claim against the carrier for US$ 250,000 in respect of wrongful delivery of their cargo (although customs valued the cargo at only US$ 125,000). A negotiated settlement was achieved with the shipper in the sum of US$ 36,000, which was reimbursed by ITIC.

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